There was a young woman in line in front of me at our local H.E.B. the other day who felt the need to carry on her entire phone conversation while checking out. She completely ignored the cashier while she remained engrossed in her own mundane conversation. The next time I see this happen, I'm going to ask the cashier how he or she feels about that type of behavior. This phenomenon of self absorbed cell phone chatter is on the rise. Why have cell phones brought about the downfall of etiquette and human interaction? What can possibly be so important, that anything and everyone around you takes a back seat to your phone conversation? This is one of the many reasons that we're disliked around the world -- we're self-absorbed and have a superiority complex.
Over the years, I've developed an intolerance for certain common grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. What follows is a list of these common errors, and my comments. The apostrophe indicates possession , as in "The car's hood was open." It is also used as a contraction (i.e. to denote a missing letter), as in "I wouldn't talk to someone who can't use an apostrophe correctly." It's not used to indicate plurality, e.g. "Look at all the dog's!", except in a couple of unusual circumstances, which you can read about here , under the section on apostrophes. Also, the apostrophe is not used to indicate the the third-person, singular conjugation of a verb. I've actually seen people write something like "That person really know's what he is doing." Ugh! The semicolon is used to join two related, independent clauses in a sentence . An example might be something like "I didn't put gas in the car today; the
Thanks to Air America Radio's Morning Sedition , we now have a quote which may without a doubt demonstrate the profoundly elitist mentality of the Bush Family. Here's Barbara Bush, on the people stuck in the Houston Astrodome: "So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway... this is working very well [chuckle] for them." The manner in which she said this (maybe "blasé" or "nonchalant" is the word I'm looking for here - yes, folks, I have no command of English vocabulary) tells me how far removed the Bush family is from everday American life. The plight of the people in the Astrodome certainly isn't a joke, yet she was making light of it, and had the nerve to suggest that the Astrodome is a better place for them than their former homes. She must not understand the concept of "home". I don't know. There are too many things wrong with her statement, and if nothing else, it should tell us that
It's tough to find anything positive or inspiring immediately after a tragedy. I think that Lt. General Russel Honore is a bright spot during this time. He's the three-star general leading the military aspect of the humanitarian relief effort down in New Orleans. I've heard him speak, and though he's certainly a realist about the current situtation, he is able to convey a sense of hope without sounding fake. After listening to him, I have complete confidence in this man's ability to help restore order to New Orleans. I'm sure it's pretty clear that I think he's one of the heroes in this effort. The Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin , referred to him as a "John Wayne Dude." I can't think of a more appropriate title for the man. I've seen the video clips of him ordering troops and police around and heard his words as he described what's happening down there. I look up to people who act and put the welfare of others before their own wi
There's nothing I can say about Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath that hasn't been written or said already (more elegantly than I could ever say it). Some people want to point fingers at the people of New Orleans, and others want to blame our government. People are emotional, and every media outlet has a talking head opining and offering his or her analysis of the post-apocalyptic nightmare that's unfolding in New Orleans. Today, as I was working, the thought occurred to me that I should drop everything and start driving to New Orleans. I actually played out the scene in my head. I'd call my boss, tell him I was leaving, and that he could fire me if he wanted to. I pictured myself arriving in New Orleans, being stopped by police as I entered the city limits, and explaining to them why I was there. I asked myself "Why don't you just go - screw everything and everyone, just do it!" After fantasizing for five minutes or so, my rational side kicked in, and